Governors of Nigeria’s thirty-six states say the attempt to make northcentral Benue State ungovernable by cutting short the life of the state governor, Samuel Ortom, will fail, noting that an immediate investigation be carried out into uncovering the identities of those involved in the crime.
The governors stated this in a statement through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and signed by Governor Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the forum.
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen on Saturdey attacked Ortom’s convoy while on a visit to a farm at Tyo Mu along Makurdi-Gboko road.
Ortom said the armed men, numbering about 15, trailed his convoy to the river bank where he was on foot with his security details and opened fire on them.
“The news of the broad daylight attempt to cut short the life of the Governor of Benue State, Dr Samuel Ortom, is shocking and a rude awakening,” the NGF said in the statement.
The governors further empathized with the governor and the people of Benue State describing the attack as “sad, cowardly, and wicked plan and vehemently condemns the act in its entirety”.
“All hands must be on deck to uncover the identities of those involved in this heinous crime.
“The NGF wishes to state categorically that the attempt to make Benue State ungovernable is unacceptable and will fail woefully.
“Only recently the brother of one of the former governors of the state was mowed down in cold blood. This dishonourable and shameful act of resorting to violence, for whatever reason, to eliminate citizens of Benue State by brutal means must not continue.
“The NGF as a platform for all the 36 Governors will continue to encourage its members to stand firm in the service of their people regardless of the evil machinations of those who do not wish Nigeria well.
“Evil will not be allowed to triumph over good, not in Benue and not anywhere in this country.
“While all governors will continue to pray for Governor Ortom, the NGF wishes to draw the attention of all evil doers that not only will they continue to fail in their wicked acts, but they will also definitely be traced and punished for their crimes, no matter how long it takes.”
By Abel Ejikeme